The Hasselblad Foundation hosts and co-hosts both smaller research presentations and larger symposia each year, often in collaboration with the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.



MOMENT 3: Photography and film in the service of Science



The symposium MOMENT 3: Photography and film in the service of science presents a range of examples of how the use of lens media in the study of nature, man and society is linked to notions of camera objectivity and aesthetic expression.


Time: 23 November 2023 12:30 – 18:50

Location: Naturhistoriska museet, Museivägen 10, Göteborg
The symposium is in Swedish


The photographic and filmic examples are drawn from zoology, geology, botany, medicine and anthropology. The presentations include both scientific and artistic perspectives and methods, giving the subject a multifaceted approach.

In the middle of World War II, Victor Hasselblad was commissioned by the Air Force to design a reconnaissance camera. Recognising the camera’s potential, he developed the model right after the war and launched the first Hasselblad for civilian use in New York in 1947.

It was a success, and more than twenty years later, a customised Hasselblad camera was used in the first manned moon landing in 1969. The basis for the endeavour was Victor Hasselblad’s interest in photographing birds and his interest in technology and science. The example shows the camera’s links to the military and the role and importance of lens media for visualisation in different sciences and research fields.





12.30–13.15 Tour of the exhibition With an eye on nature: birds, fossils and photographs
Louise Wolthers och Stefan Jensen


13.20–13.30 Greetings and welcome
Mats Jönsson, Louise Wolters och Niclas Östlind


13.30–14.00 “Unseen, unheard and unimagined”: on nature photography as science and sport
Cecilia Strandroth


14.10–15.10 “Favourable soil for suggestive influence”: The use of Swedish cultural-historical film 1945-1955.
Mats Jönsson och Erik Florin Persson


15.10–15.30 Coffee and sandwich break


15.30–16.00 Functions and relationships of films – from consumer films to source material and cultural heritage 
Lisa Sputnes Mouwitz


16.10–17.10 About developing | time
Cecilia Grönberg


17.20–17.50 The Atlantic rainforest – insights and perspectives 
Åsa Krüger och Stina Weststrand


18.00–18.15 A T C G
Karl-Magnus Johansson


18.20–18.50 The photo book in the service of popular science: a selection of books that widened the public’s view of man, nature and the world
Andréas Hagström och Niclas Östlind





Welcome to the third symposium of our multi-year research collaboration in digital photographic cultures between the Hasselblad Foundation and HDK-Valand. The project, Glitch in Photography, explores visual systems around us and the potentiality to disrupt normative logics.


Under the umbrella title Photography and the Glitch we explore glitch as form, metaphor, and methodology within photography with a specific focus on digital, networked cultures. Our aim is to define multiple potentials of the glitch as disruption to systems of technology, knowledge, classification, and control.


On 14-16 June we invite you to a symposium and two workshops.

More information about the workshops HERE.


No sign-up is needed for the symposium.


WHERE: HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University. Stora Hörsalen, room 338. Kristinelundsgatan 6-8


WHEN: Wednesday, June 14, 09.00-16.00





09:00 Coffee


09:30-10:00 Louise Wolthers and Nina Mangalanayagam
Introduction: Metamorphosis as glitch


10:00 Magne Friberg
The Butterfly Lifepuzzle


10:30 Nicky Coutts
Insectile blips: Listening in to power lines


11:00-11:15 Break


11:15 Monica Alcazar-Duarte
Abundance is not excess


12:00-13:00 Lunch (lunch is not included but the organizers are happy to recommend places nearby).


13:00 Susanne Østby Sæther
Infrastructural interruptions: Possession, Distortion, Translation


13:45 Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert and Alexia Achilleos
The Archive of Unnamed Workers: filling in the gaps of photographic archives and AI’s colonial legacy


14:45 Coffee


15:15 Franziska Kunze
„Is this real life?“ – the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors between anaesthesia and sticky emulsion


16:00 End of seminar



About the talks and speakers



Dr. Magne Friberg, Senior Lecturer, Lund University Department of Biology

Research group on Speciation, Adaptation and Coevolution


Butterflies are important nodes in the web of life, as pollinators, herbivores and pests. Importantly, they are wonderfully diverse, and suitable research subjects for understanding many different aspects of life as an insect. In my talk, I will try to think like a butterfly, and focus on the many important decisions that a butterfly is making during its life. In particular, I will discuss how glitches in this decision-making may play an important role for evolutionary novelty and continued diversification.


Magne Friberg is a Lecturer in Biology at Lund University, studying the diversification of life in general, and in particular the interaction between plants and insects. He is a co-Principal Investigator of the Lund University research group on Speciation, Adaptation and Co-evolution (SPACE).




Dr Nicky Coutts, Research Lead, The Glasgow School of Art


For this artists talk, I plan to trace some metaphorical, structural and visual lines that begin within a photographic practice centering on insects, and lead to a practice of drawing involving beyond human animals. These lines fall in and out of familiarity as they stray closer to the unknown texts of other lives. ‘Insectile’ qualities translated within photographic artworks and installations prove partial and multi sensory prone to slippages and visual elusiveness. More recent drawings involving interactions with primates and sea mammals, that have adapted to use ‘language’ across species, explore further challenges to visual capacities. Glitches are explored in both bodies of work as moments within a practice of making where language tears causing holes and fissures within which there is an opportunity to articulate anew, or otherly. The focus of this talk will be to think through these moments of drop out, to discuss the potential for interspecies language and its limits within an artist’s practice.



Nicky Coutts’ work focuses on the pressures that humans place on species diversity and the environment, and the role of cross-species interactions in finding a way to better interact and live. Through a writing and multi-disciplinary visual practice, she explores how ‘language’ is often used to sustain the status quo and the potential for this to be shifted through working closely with ‘oddkin’ (Haraway). Queer and feminist methods are deployed in Coutts’s work to disrupt the normative values that have led to some bodies, lives or communities being valued over others. Her research addresses the power structures that have facilitated the ‘othering’ of all ‘others’ experimenting with practices of inclusion in writing and making. Key to Coutts’ work is an interest in mimetic principals and their transformative potential between art and politics. Through her visual work and writing, she addresses how through spending time with and developing strategies of adaptive exchange with other species, it could become possible to ethically share in each other’s qualities and approaches to living and dying.




Mónica Alcázar-Duarte


Melipona Beecheii, a stingless bee from the Mayan peninsula has been an important part of Mexican indigenous culture for several thousand years. This tiny creature serves as an example of a natural glitch that provokes an alternative view of the notion of abundance. The talk will focus on the ways in which contemporary technological lust for data is threatening global ecological abundance through its relentless demand for “more”. Can we find ways to measure notions of advancement other than through resource accumulation?


Mónica Alcázar-Duarte is a Mexican-British multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work acknowledges her indigenous heritage while exploring current ideals of progress. She embraces themes related to science and technology and their influence over society and the natural world. In her projects she mixes images and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality, to create multi-layered work, producing meaning through seemingly disconnected narratives. Alcázar-Duarte’s work references western society’s obsession with speed, expansion, and resource accumulation as an index of advancement at a time in which ecological disaster looms, and considers other ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world.




Susanne Østby Sæther, Curator Photography and new media, PH.D.


Taking the second edition of New Visions. The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media as a point of departure, I will in this talk discuss a set of works and artistic strategies that resonate with the notion of new ecologies. New Visions 2023 presents works that explore the boundaries of photography and automated image-making to examine the extraction of natural and human-made resources and expanding infrastructures – and, by extension, the ecological, social, and political consequences of these ventures.

More specifically, I will emphasize how artists presently harness photography to scrutinize ecological impacts of resource extraction, as well as the environmental and ecological dimension of media themselves. For example, some artists in New Visions employ outdoor LED-screens and CGI imagery reconstructed from satellite images to examine electricity infrastructures and light pollution. Others experiment with the very materiality of photography to convey precarious environmental states by staining their prints with acid or adding pigments from toxic sea algae. In conclusion I trace how the acutely pertinent “new ecologies” envisioned through these practices also have longer genealogies that harks back to the work of photographer and educator László Moholy-Nagy, whose 1932 manifesto “A New Instrument of Vision” greatly impacted twentieth-century experimental photography – and lends the triennial its title.


Susanne Østby Sæther, PhD, is Curator of Photography and New Media at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway. Her curatorial and research interest is the intersection of art, media, and technology, with a particular focus on 21st century camera-based art and photography in its computational and algorithmic manifestation. Sæther has been a Research Fellow at Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and a Postdoctor at Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo. She is currently a partner in the research projects PHOTOFAKE – Visual Disinformation, the Digital Economy and the Epistemology of the Camera Image and Deep-Sea Sensing, both financed by the Norwegian Research Council, and a core member and convener of the Media Seas of the High North Collaboratory, financed by the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities. Among her recent publications are Screen Space Reconfigured, edited with Synne T. Bull (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), Why Photography?, co-edited with Behzad Farazollahi, Christian Tunge and Bjarne Bare (Skira Editore, 2020), and New Visions, ed. (Mousse Publishing, 2023).




Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert & Alexia Achilleos, Cyprus University of Technology/ CYENS Centre of Excellence


This presentation explores how art practice that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) attempts to fill in representational gaps and function as a form of archival activism. The first section of the presentation provides the context of our investigation by looking into photographic archives in museums with an emphasis on archaeological-related photographic archives during the colonial period in Cyprus (1878-1960). When taken together, these archives present a fragmented and incomplete history of Cypriot archaeology, especially when appearing online. The second section investigates how AI-generated images are using existing datasets to produce new visual representations; databases which by nature reproduce power imbalances inherited from colonial-era photography. The third section presents and discusses an artwork titled “The Archive of Unnamed Workers” (2022) as an example of how artistic practices may use AI to reveal the inherent power imbalances found in historic archives, fill in visual gaps, and point towards an urgency to decolonize Cypriot archaeology.


Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is an artist/researcher. She is interested in the ontology and workings of everyday photography and archives, as well as the intersections of new technologies and photography. Theopisti is a member of the advising committee of the peer-reviewed journal “photographies”, the vice-chair of the “International Association of Photography and Theory”, a curator of the IAPT Photobook show (2016, 2018, 2021) and has received several international fellowships and awards. She has exhibited her work in a number of art exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad and she is passionate about photobooks. She is currently Associate Professor at the School of Fine and Applied Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology, and the group leader of Museum Lab at CYENS Centre of Excellence.


Alexia Achilleos is an artist, with a background in fine art, archaeology and cultural studies. She is currently a PhD Fellow at CYENS – Centre of Excellence, undertaking artistic research on colonialism and AI, as well as a Research Associate at the Media Art & Design Research Lab (MADLab) at Cyprus University of Technology. Alexia is interested in the social, cultural, and political issues that impact narrative and power dynamics. By investigating data and utilising machine learning processes, often in a historical context, she aims to re-examine such issues found within history and society, but also within AI technology itself, particularly challenging the idea of technology as universal and objective.



“IS THIS REAL LIFE?” – the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors between anaesthesia and sticky emulsion

Dr. Franziska Kunze

Chief Curator of Photography and Time-based Media, Pinakothek der Moderne | Sammlung Moderne Kunst


Cracked smartphone displays, distorted images, colourful pixel structures. Only when there is a malfunction is our attention directed to the nature of the technical media that surround us every day, without them, however, being shifted to the forefront. As one of the youngest and most unpredictable art forms, Glitch Art specifically draws attention to the aesthetics of the flawed. However, its roots can be traced back to the early days of the history of photography, take its course form there as an artistic counter-movement to recognised forms of expression via avant-garde film, video and sound art to digital image media and net art, where glitches are intentionally provoked or deliberately programmed. The lecture provides insights into the upcoming exhibition “Glitch. The Art of Interference” at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich by focusing on the connections of the Glitch Art movement and its historical predecessors – showing the manifold possibilities and motivations for making the invisible visible.


Dr Franziska Kunze is chief curator of photography and time-based media at the Bavarian State Painting Collections | Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Before, she was vicariously responsible for the Contemporary Art Department at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur in Münster and was from 2017 to 2019 a fellow in the programme “Museum Curators for Photography” of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. Franziska takes on teaching assignments at irregular intervals, writes




A collaboration between the Hasselblad Foundation, HDK-Valand and IAPSIS, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee´s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts.




Urban Planning, Prosperity and Well-being in Swedish Film, Photography and Television in the Mid-1960s

Culture and languages


In the middle of the 1960s, Sweden enjoyed a rise in living standards seldom seen before. The wheels were in motion, driving up prosperity: the housing shortage was being addressed through new construction, city centres were being modernised, and rational, large-scale solutions had been identified for most societal problems.

Still from the film A place to live (Karsten Wedel, 1967)

The optimism of the era was expressed in the films commissioned to market new housing estates and to celebrate the ability of historical cities to adapt to the demands and ideals of contemporary living. Although these films embraced development, there were also examples of a more circumspect tone. These addressed the risk that important values were being lost in the modern and increasingly bureaucratic spirit of the time. Among the acclaimed and award-winning commercial films of the 1960s in this genre were Göteborg – Hjärtpunkt i Norden (Gothenburg: Heart of the Nordic Region, 1964), Som ringar på vattnet (Like Rings on Water, 1965) and A Place to Live (1967). Håkan Bergström directed the first, and the latter two by Karsten Wedel. In a way that is typical for the genre, these films glorify the Swedish welfare state and its urban planning for local as well as national and international audiences.

Although the optimistic vision of the future dominated, an increasing number of sceptical voices could also be heard, and one of the early films that took on the record-breaking wave of new construction with a critical view was Myglaren (The Grifter, 1966). The film was a collaboration between screenplay writer Jan Myrdal, photographer and filmmaker Rune Hassner, and photographer Christer Strömholm, who played the lead role in the film despite having no prior experience. The Grifter is about a representative of the emerging class of welfare-state bureaucrats who benefit from the prevailing social system and the era’s strong focus on well-being. In terms of its form, the film challenged the conventions of the documentary genre and was the first feature film produced for Swedish Television. The Grifter attracted a great deal of attention when it aired on television, and it also sparked a toxic debate on the criteria for the funding of quality film in the country. To be considered for funding, in addition to being of a certain length in meters, a film had to have a première at a cinema. What makes The Grifter so interesting, apart from the subject matter and the issues of film industry politics, is that it exemplifies how key figures in photography and some areas of literature can come together to break new ground in terms of both the genres and distribution forms of lens-based media.   



Film screening: Bio Valand

10:00–11:30 AM Myglaren (The Grifter, 1966).

11:45 AM–12:45 PM Göteborg – Hjärtpunkt i Norden (Gothenburg: Heart of the Nordic Region, 1964), Som ringar på vattnet (Like Rings on Water, 1965) and A Place to Live (1967).


Exhibition, lectures and conversations: FG2

1:45 –2:00 PM Niclas Östlind: “Moment: An Introduction”.

2:00–2:30 PM Erik Florin Persson: “Urban Planning and the Welfare State: Swedish Commercial Film About 1965”.

2:30–3:15 PM Anders Dahlgren: “Urban Planning in the Record Years: Future Optimism and Planned Development”.

3.15–3.45 PM Intermission and Archival Interlude 1, Andreas Hagström: “The Truly Physical Meeting With an Archive on the Way Being Burnt – Or How I Saved Rune Hassner’s  Clip Archive.”

3:45–4:30 PM Per Vesterlund: “The Case of Myglaren: At the Intersection of Film, Television and Politics in 1966”.

4:30–5:15 PM Annika Olsson: “The Role of Documentary Film in the People’s Home Era: Jan Myrdal and Gun Kessle’s report books”.

5:15–6.00 PM Andreas Gedin: “Christer Strömholm and Nazism”.

6.00–6.30 PM Intermission and Archival Interlude 2, Karl-Magnus Johansson: “Clip Archives as Systems of Knowledge during the Post War Era.”

6:30–7:15 PM Conversation with the Speakers. Moderator: Mats Jönsson



Glitch and Photography II: Bugs, Camouflage, and Insect Media 

November 24, 2022


This is the second symposium of the multi-year research project Photography and the Glitch – a collaboration between the Hasselblad Foundation and HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University. The project explores digital photographic cultures and visual systems around us with a focus on the potentiality of glitch to disrupt normative logic.

This symposium revolves around photographic glitch as a bug both literally and metaphorically: From artistic investigations of moths, insects, and animality to analysis and mediations of bugs as a technical and algorithmic errors.


Nanna Debois Buhl
Sunrise Patterns 2022

The symposium theme is inspired by the concept ‘insect media’ (which notably Jussi Parikka discussed in his 2010 book Insect Media. An Archeology of Animals and Technology). It approaches photography and related communication technologies through the lens of insect behaviour, anatomy, and mythologies, including notions of swarms, webs, metamorphosis and multiplicity. An entomological and wider zoological perspective on digital, hybrid, and virtual photographic cultures offers new perspectives on how visuality and meaning unfold and can be imagined.


In what ways does the glitch as bug open for posthuman and nonhuman (see for instance, Joanna Zylinska’s 2017 publication Nonhuman Photography) agencies and interferences – from both the machinic and the natural realms? The artists and researchers participating in this symposium address subjects such as gaming (Marco De Mutiis), climate (Joana Moll) and weather forecasts (Nanna Debois Buhl and Joanna Zylinska) and develop innovative methodologies for working with chance (Olle Essvik), weaving (Buhl) and symbiosis (Marie-Eve Levasseur). By engaging with new technologies such as AI and various digital environments, the participants pose new questions for the future of photography.


Presentations by: Joanna Zylinska, Marco De Mutiis, Nanna Debois Buhl, Joana Moll, Olle Essvik and Marie-Eve Levasseur.




Symposium program:


Glitch and Photography II: Bugs, Camouflage, and Insect Media


Venue: Glashuset, Valand, Gothenburg University

Time: November 24, 2022


The symposium will also be live-streamed as a webinar.


Nina Mangalanayagam and Louise Wolthers: Introduction


Marco De Mutiis: Photographing the game glitch: between ghost photography and free labour 


14:00-14:10 Break


Nanna Debois Buhl: Pattern Machines: on Coding, Weaving and Glitching (Artist talk)


Olle Essvik AInsect / Eaten Books (Performative lecture)


Coffee and set up for digital presentations


ONLINE (Zoom webinar)


Joana Moll: Inanimate Species (Artist talk)


Marie-Eve Levasseur: becoming a glitch-body, on extended reality (XR) art practice and feminist science fiction (Artist talk)




17:00 -17:30
Johanna Zylinska: The future is glitchy, but can we photograph it? 


Concluding roundtable


Supported by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.


Interwar Lens Cultures: Photography and Film around 1929

February 12, 2019


An open seminar on photography, film and ‘New Vision’ – around the ground-breaking exhibition Film und Foto, 1929.


Mats Jönsson is Professor of Film studies at the Dept of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg. Louise Wolthers is Research Manager and Curator at The Hasselblad Foundation. Niclas Östlind is a Curator and Senior Lecturer at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Kai-Uwe Hemken is Professor of Fine Arts (20th/ 21st century) at the Kunsthochschule Kassel/ University of Kassel

Martin Reinhart is a filmmaker, film historian and inventor.


The seminar is an independent continuation of the symposium Interwar Lens Cultures – Photography and Film in Transition 1919-1939

Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

The Interwar Lens Cultures project is part of the ongoing research collaboration between The Hasselblad Foundation, Valand Academy and Film Studies at the department of Cultural Sciences Gothenburg University.



 Interwar Lens Cultures – Photography and Film in Transition 1919-1939

November 28 – 29 , 2018


Interwar Lens Cultures – Photography and Film in Transition 1919-1939 will map, explore and contextualize significant media practices between 1919 and 1939. A new look at the period’s vernacular, scientific and popular lens-based practices and their cross-fertilization offer critical, interdisciplinary perspectives on Interwar visual culture, which was defined by a rising ubiquity of photography and film.


The symposium will offer unique transdisciplinary exchanges between the contributing researchers in photography, art, film and visual culture. The historiographical ambition is to discuss various ways of researching, writing and doing photo and film history. Finally, Interwar Lens Cultures – Photography and Film in Transition 1919-1939 encourages cultural, social and political comparisons between the interwar period and the present.


Symposium participants: Jenny Chamarette, Pia Rönicke, Ciara Chambers, Björn Axel Johansson, Annika Wickman, Jan-Erik Lundström, Tyrone Martinsson, Kerstin Hamilton and Erika Johansson


The symposium is part of a collaborative research project between the Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy, Gothenburg University.


Organizer:Mats Jönsson, Professor in Film studies, Dept of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Louise Wolthers, Research Manager and Curator, The Hasselblad Foundation, Niclas Östlind, Senior Lecturer, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg



Experiments and Social Change:

Writing the History of Interwar Photography

November 21, 2017



Photography at the Threshold: Experiments and Social Change unites researchers, artists and writers from an interdisciplinary field of photography and cultural studies with a particular focus on the 1920s and 30s. The symposium probes ways of researching, writing and doing photo history and a further aim is to reflect on parallels between the Interwar period and the present. Among the topics discussed will be montage, (anti-)fascism, eugenics and photography, gender rights and representation, aerial photography, militarism, commercialism and modernism.




Mats Jansson, Professor, Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, Gothenburg University

Sabine T. Kriebel, Lecturer, History of Art, University Collage, Cork

 Anna Dahlgren, Professor, Art History, Stockholm University

 Susanne Kriemann, Artist, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Germany, Berlin/Karlsruhe

 Mhairi Sutherland, Artist and Researcher, Derry/Londonderry

 Maja Hagerman,Writer and Historian & Claes Gabrielson, Photographer

 Niclas Östlind, Curator, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Valand Academy, Gothenburg University

 Katarina Leppänen, Senior Lecturer, Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, Gothenburg University

 Eva Dahlman, Photo Historian and Researcher

 Louise Wolthers, Researcher and Curator, Hasselblad Foundation

 Andréas Hagström, Gothenburg Konsthall


A collaboration between The Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy, Gothenburg University



Photography in Print & Circulation

Part II: The Writing of History

Thursday, 28 September






The book is an integrated and important part of photography, and the interest in the history of the photo book is an expanding field. It started in early 2000 with Andrew Roth’s Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books in the Twenties Century (2001), and the exhibition and publication Open Book at the Hasselblad Centre (2004). Martin Parr and Garry Badger have made groundbreaking contributions with their series History of the Photo Book, Volume I, II and III (published 2004–2014). They have been followed by a number of books and exhibitions focusing on national histories of the photo book.


Now it is time to look critically on the histories that have been produced during the last decade. What perspectives have guided the histories? How have they been mediated and – most importantly – what is still to be done? The symposium will address these important questions.


Niclas Östlind

Frits Giertberg

Angel Luis Gonzalez

Irene de Mendoza

Evita Goze

Bernadette Wolbring

Åke E:son Lindman

Lars Willumeit

Eva Weinmayr

Cecilia Grönberg

Charlotte Cotton

Lotta Antonsson


The symposium is part of Photography in Print & Circulation, a joint research project between the Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy.



Friday 18 November

Louise Wolthers

Mike Bode

Linn Prøitz

Mette Sandbye

Sarah Tuck